Jonathan Trew: Fresh faces for a new season at RSNO and Scottish Ballet

AS KEATS and countless others have pointed out, autumn is perhaps a time for reflection.

Fair enough, unless you happen to be part of Scottish Ballet or the Royal Scottish National Orchestra; in which case this weekend will involve all hands to the pumps as you launch your new season with some fresh faces in key posts.

At the RSNO, British-Canadian conductor Peter Oundjian is settling in as the replacement music director for Stéphane Denève as the orchestra gets its 121st season under way. After last night playing the Usher Hall, Oundjian tonight conducts the RSNO at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. The programme features Glinka, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich.

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Over at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow tonight, Christopher Hampson is finding his feet as the new artistic director at Scottish Ballet, a post he took up in August. The company’s season begins with a programme of three works showing aspects of how dance has evolved over the last few decades.

As well as works from 1977 and 1998, by Hans van Manen and William Forsythe respectively, the evening includes Martin Lawrance’s Run For It, a high-energy work which was created for the summer’s Cultural Olympiad. It is performed to the kinetic rhythms of John Adams’ Son of Chamber Symphony and features a sculptural installation created by artist Martin Boyce.

Sticking with Glasgow, the city’s Americana Festival twangs to a close this weekend with a concert from four highly rated Texan player-songwriters.

The gig, taking place in the CCA tomorrow, is billed as A Celebration of Austin Texas and features Sam Baker, Eliza Gilkyson, Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin.

If Schmidt and Elkin are in the early stages of their careers, then Baker and Gilkyson are further down the line. In many ways, Baker is lucky to be here at all. In 1986, he was blown up when a bomb exploded on the Peruvian train on which he was travelling. The blast damaged his brain, hearing and hand; an experience which gives him rather more to sing about than, say, JLS.

www.rsno.org.uk; www.scottishballet.co.uk; www.glasgowamericana.com